Slovakia Donates Its 11 MiG-29 Fighter Jets To Ukraine

Slovakia's Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad and his Czech and Polish counterparts Jana Cernochova and Mariusz Blaszczak attend air policing agreement signing ceremony at the Malacky Air Base, near Malacky, Slovakia, August 27, 2022. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Slovakia signed a deal on Saturday under which fellow NATO states the Czech Republic and Poland will police its skies as Bratislava withdraws its Soviet-made MiG-29s from service, potentially freeing up the old jets to send to Ukraine.

Poland and Czechia signed an agreement Saturday to protect Slovak airspace as Slovakia donates its old Soviet-made MiG-29 jets to Ukraine.

Under the agreement, Poland and Czechia are providing the necessary forces to quickly react in case of violations of Slovakia’s airspace. Slovakia has a border with Ukraine, which Russia invaded in February.

The agreement was signed at a Slovak airbase by defense ministers Jana Cernochova of Czechia, Mariusz Blaszczak of Poland and Jaroslav Nad of Slovakia.

“In the immediate proximity of our region where we live came a war, and all of us who are standing here today either have experience with fascism or communism, and we really value the freedom that we gained after 1989,” Cernochova said at a news conference alongside her Slovak and Polish counterparts.

Blaszczak said under the agreement, a pair of Polish F-16 fighter jets would begin patrolling Slovakia’s air space starting Sept. 1. He called the effort a way for the neighbors to “deter a possible aggressor.”

Slovakia has a fleet of 11 MiG-29 jets, and last month Nad said Slovakia may consider donating them to Ukraine under certain conditions.

Asked by a reporter Saturday about whether the jets might go to Ukraine, Nad said Slovakia was in talks with Ukraine and its European Union allies about how best to help. But he said he could not say what that help might look like yet.

Since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, Ukraine has urged Western allies to provide it with warplanes to challenge Russia’s air superiority.

Poland, Czechia and Slovakia belong to a region that was under Moscow’s control during the decades of the Cold War. Many people here worry that if Russia isn’t stopped in Ukraine, Moscow’s renewed imperial ambitions could target them too.

© 2022, GDC. © GDC and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.